Oslo bid to break Chi­nese sal­mon dead­lock

Fish Farmer - - News -

A SENIOR Nor­we­gian del­e­ga­tion flew to China last month in an at­tempt to un­lock the im­passe over sal­mon ex­ports to the coun­try.

De­spite a highly pub­li­cised trade mis­sion led by Prime Min­is­ter Erna Sol­berg back in the spring, sal­mon ex­ports have yet to take off.

This was fol­lowed up a month later when the fish­eries min­is­ter, Per Sand­berg, signed a sal­mon pro­to­col in the hope of open­ing up the world’s largest mar­ket to Nor­we­gian seafood.

The Chi­nese Food Safety Author­ity is de­mand­ing strin­gent health and hy­giene checks, es­pe­cially in re­gard to pre­vent­ing sea lice, be­fore they open the door.

They are wor­ried that their own farms could even­tu­ally be­come in­fected by lice or dis­ease if they re­lax the rules.

Senior con­sul­tant Har­ald Martin Misje told the broad­caster NRK said that de­spite com­ply­ing with the food safety bod­ies in China, sal­mon was still not com­ing into China in the vol­ume Nor­we­gian fish farm­ers had hoped.

‘I be­lieve we (Nor­way) have done ev­ery­thing we can to en­sure our seafood is ex­ported into China smoothly,’ he said.

‘As well as ne­go­ti­at­ing an agree­ment we have an­swered the many ques­tion­naires they have sent us and we have given them all the as­sur­ances we can.’

The lat­est mis­sion was led by Astrid Holtan, deputy director of the Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try, who said the pur­pose was to re­view the sit­u­a­tion and an­swer any ques­tions the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties may put. There may also be a need to go over some of the health re­lated is­sues again.

She said: ‘Ex­ports of sal­mon have not in­creased since 2016, although there has been a con­sid­er­able rise in sales of white fish and mack­erel to China.’

She stressed that re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries had warmed sig­nif­i­cantly fol­low­ing dif­fer­ences over the treat­ment of the late Chi­nese dis­si­dent and No­bel Peace Prize win­ner Liu Xiaobo in 2010.

Erna Sol­berg Above:

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